The head of the Federal Communications Commission wants to make sure NFL fans can watch their favorite teams on TV this season.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced Tuesday that he plans to scrap his agency's rules that support TV blackouts of live sports events.
"Today, we are blowing the whistle on this anti-fan practice," Wheeler wrote in an op-ed in USA Today. "The NFL should no longer be able to hide behind government rules that punish loyal fans."
Wheeler shared his proposal with the four other FCC commissioners on Tuesday and has scheduled a final vote on the issue for Sept. 30. Ajit Pai, the senior Republican on the commission, has also called for an end to the blackout rules.
The rules, first adopted in 1975, prohibit cable and satellite TV providers from showing a sports event in an area if the game is blacked out on broadcast television stations such as Fox or CBS.
Dropping the rules would have the biggest impact on the NFL, which requires broadcast stations to black out games if the local team does not sell out the stadium.
The NFL argues that the rules are necessary to keep games on local broadcast channels, which are free to access over the air. The league also says the rules boost local economies by ensuring that more fans attend the game in person.